After the planes hit, I was actually proud of how our president handled himself. Remember when he went out of his way to ensure people understood that the War on Terror wasn't a war on Islam?
I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.
When we went into Iraq, I was somewhat supportive, giving the administration the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Saddam Hussein's regime had given support to the terrorists, and perhaps he was in league with OBL. At the time, it didn't seem so far-fetched. Now, we know better.
When Bush started using crusade language, I began to think that maybe he was just paying lip service to his respect for Islam. His words and actions since then make me think that Bush sees this as a war of Christian values against Islamic values. Wouldn't Osama Bin Laden like to see that? Didn't we warn ourselves that the U.S. didn't want to be drawn into a war against Muslims? Didn't we want to be careful to delineate between fundamentalist Islamic terrorists and peaceful Muslims?
If anything, the Bush administration has made it very easy for Muslims to think that, indeed, this is a war of religious values. Where we should have the support of peaceful Muslims the world over, instead we have fear, suspicion and an environment in which Al Qaeda will have a much easier time recruiting terrorists. So, yes, I'd answer the question Kos posed by saying that the Bush Administration has fallen right into Osama Bin Laden's trap, in effect becoming the best thing that ever happened to Al Qaeda.